Pineywoods, Peahens, And April Projects


So much happened this April at Healing Homestead. We have so many new animals like peahens, Pineywoods calves, new cows, a new cow pasture, the concrete poured for a grain bin, new dairy lambs, new plants, and a weekend at Cowpen Creek Farm in Poplarville, Mississippi!

The Peahens

I’m so excited to announce that I FINALLY found three peahens after a three year search! Last year, Tavas, my male peacock left and I’ve been praying that Azure didn’t get any ideas before I could find him some ladies. We drove all the way to Cookville, Tennesse and brought back three peahens which I names Penelope, Petunia, and Pineapple. They will stay cooped up for at least three month so they can learn that I am the treat lady. The last thing I want is for them to wander off trying to find their old home. Once I feel confident that they have bonded with Azure they will be able to free range once again!

The Pastures

You sure can’t tell by looking at the photos but that bare ground is actually progress! We finished another section of fence and we moved the Pineywoods Cattle and the East Friesian Dairy Sheep OFF of the original two pastures that they cleared so that we could let the land regenerate and heal. Remember that we bought clear cut land with zero infrastructure so I like to document the before photos. I don’t know why but I’m firmly against planting a monocrop of forage for the cattle and sheep. Most farmers lime their fields and plant three to five grasses, I on the other hand, will be letting the native seed bank do its job! I can’t wait to show you the after photos.

The Pineywoods cattle are in an area with lots of blackberries and some trees. The sheep are in a separate pasture and I am using a permaculture approach and putting my animals to work! They will clear the under story, fertilize the land and build soil. Speaking of soil, check out that vibrant “red dirt” we unearthed while auguring holes for fencing posts. So far it’s the only place with that color soil.

The Open Projects

I’m not going to lie, we sat down as a family as discussed filling in the hole for the grain bin. We have had soooo many delays that we thought that was God saying don’t do the project. Fortunately, everything is finally lining up for the project to move forward. I even helped install the circular framing for the concrete pad. Theodore helped supervise the concrete truck. Now the concrete pad is completed! Next step, a 20 foot grain bin for a cheese cave and possibly an Air B & B.

How come it never seems like a lot of plants when you order them online but when they arrive bareroot and you have to plant them, it’s another story, haha! I’m making a dent in my little nursery. I bet I still have about 30 trees and berries to plant. This month we planted

  • two Red Oak trees
  • three Red Bud trees
  • three Crape Myrtle bushes
  • four Goji berries
  • six Goumi berries

The Cows

We FINALLY have two Pineywoods baby bull calves! These are the first Pineywoods calves at Healing Homestead. Both Magnolia and Daisy had unassisted births. Magnolia’s calf was already up and nursing by the time we got outside for morning chores. Daisy Rose actually waited for me to go out of town and had her calf after morning chores. I felt like I was constantly following them around asking when baby day would be! We run a bull with the herd so we never know exact conception dates.

Since Basil and Tobacco will be my Pineywoods oxen, we had to buy two more steer for beef. My hay guy said he’d pick them up at auction for me. I got the phone call that he bought a 500 heifer at auction. I said bring Betty on over as long as she’ll still get big for beef. Well, he pulls up with his trailer and this beautiful Black Angus heifer is as calm as can be. She even took a treat right our of my hand through the trailer. I said you brought me a pet, how am I supposed to put her in the freezer now? She’s likely a Free Martin (a sterile twin to a male calf) but I’m hoping that she can be bred to my Pineywoods bull and keep her as a pet!

The Babies

This is my first time breeding pigs! I have no clue what breed they are as they were sold as Emma and Mindy were sold as feeder pigs. I was so busy checking on the cows that I had forgotten that the pigs were also pregnant. The day before Magnolia had her calf, Emma had 12 piglets! Mindy heard that I was going to be out of town so she waited until I was gone before she birthed seven piglets! I didn’t even know that I wanted piglets until I saw how cute they are! We will also be rehoming piglets.

Lambing season is officially over with the three cute lambs in the photo. We only had a few sets of twins as we had a lot of first time moms. I think we had about 15 lambs. I’ve been so busy that I didn’t even bother to count! We got the milking stanchion set up on the trailer. I have been milking three of the East Friesian ewes and I’ve frozen several gallons of milk to make sheep cheese in the future.

The Pineywoods Cattle Conference & Cowpen Creek Farm

I almost didn’t go to the 25th Anniversary Pineywoods Cattle Registry & Breeders Association (PCRBA) because we didn’t have a critter sitter for the extended weekend as my parents were already out of town. Jason graciously told me to go and he’d hold the fort down. It was so wonderful connecting with so many people that LOVE Pineywoods Cattle!!

We had a two day cattle conference: Ranching For Profit. I’m really not at that level as we are still building infrastructure but this conference was applicable to any self-employed business owner. Y’all know that we also own a holistic health company called, Strategic Healing, right?! If not, go check it out and we’ll help you take your health back!

The final day of the 25th Anniversary celebration was help at Cowpen Creek Farm in Poplarville, Mississippi. Do yourself a favor and make it to their open house October 4th 2024; and make sure to come say hello to me, Farmer Katy! Check out this video I made of my recent trip to Cowpen Creek: YouTube Video

Cowpen Creek Farm is owned by The Browns and they have many working heritage breeds like the Pineywoods Cattle, Gulf Coast Native Sheep, Pine Tacky Horses, and a hog that I missed documenting. The Browns have lived on this historic working farm for five generations and they can trace their roots back to that area for 11 generations!!!


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